2016-2017 National Americanism Ambassador
Americanism: Flag Education
It’s August and stores are already putting out Halloween and Christmas items, so it must be time to head back to school! This is a great time of year to talk with your child’s or grandchild’s teacher(s) about patriotic education in the classroom.
Ask the teacher if you (and your fellow Auxiliary members) can come monthly or quarterly to talk with students about Americanism and Patriotism. The more the students see you, the more excited they will be to learn about these topics.
Some suggestions on Patriotic topics to teach children include:
- Elementary teachers often decorate their classrooms, doors and bulletin boards. Ask your child’s or grandchild’s teacher to add some patriotic decorations (your Auxiliary could donate these!) to their displays.
- Contact your local school and ask if they have Flags in the classrooms. If not, perhaps your Auxiliary could donate new classroom Flags. If you can’t afford to purchase them all at once, work with your Post or purchase one a month.
- In the elementary schools, ask to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Teach them the words and what they mean.
- Explain the meaning of the colors.
- Teach them how to properly salute the Flag.
- Afterward, you could hand out Pledge of Allegiance bookmarks printed from the resources page of the Auxiliary website.
- Present the thirteen folds of the Flag.
- This is always a great presentation to invite Post members to help you. The message seems to resonate more when veterans are folding the Flag.
- Afterwards you could present them a Flag Education Award Card available from the VFW Store or Patriotic pencils. Children are always happy to receive small gifts that remind them of things they have learned.
- Instruct them in proper Flag etiquette.
- Download and print out Flag Education for Kids from the resources page of the Auxiliary website and talk about displaying the Flag, saluting the Flag and Flag disposal.
- Flag Questions and Answers is a booklet available from the VFW Store that includes images of the Flag through various changes, the history of the Flag and more!
- Don’t forget to take some Smart/Maher Teacher of the Year Award brochures to offer the principal or ask that they be placed in the teacher’s lounge.
While it can be challenging to obtain permission to get into public schools, don’t get discouraged! These ideas also work well for private/parochial schools, church youth groups, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Boy Scout or Girl Scout meetings.
It is so important to educate our nation’s youth about our Flag and ensure they understand the Pledge of Allegiance. They are the future of our country and teaching them about the Flag and Pledge is a great foundation to build upon as we help them to become Patriotic citizens.